Learn Kansai-ben With Cats ①

Ever wanted to learn more about the infamous Kansai dialect of Japan? From a Japanese person? Through the medium of cats? Well now you can learn Kansai-ben with cats!!! 関西弁にゃんこ (Kansai-ben Nyanko) is a fantastic book by Maki, a Japanese illustrator and writer from Kyoto. 絵がすごくかわいいですよ!!! Her art is so cute!!! And following her on twitter is great Japanese practice! If you have LINE you can buy her Kansai-ben Kitten stickers here! This book is currently unavailable in English but I got special permission to translate parts of it for Japanese Talk Online readers! This isn’t a very long book … Read More…

Best Japanese YouTube Channels

I am one of those people who would rather watch YouTube than TV. The amazing thing about YouTube is the ability for people from all around the world to create content. Yet due to YouTube’s advertising algorithms you probably never see content from other countries. Even if you watch lots of videos about Japan it’s rare that a Japanese YouTube channel will appear unless you search for it. So here’s my list of some of the best Japanese YouTube Channels. Do you have any of your own or other suggestions? Let everyone know on the JTalkOnline Facebook Page! A quick note: … Read More…

Advanced Japanese Reading Practice 3

Advanced Japanese Reading Practice 3

Advanced Reading Practice on Memrise Articles: 「オゾン層に回復の兆し」 米研究グループ ネット動画で広がる被災地応援 Tip 1: When studying the vocabulary read it out-loud – Even if you’re just moving your lips (because you’re in public, for example) reading the vocabulary and what it means out-loud will help cement the readings and meaning in your memory. Tip 2: When reading the articles read out-loud – Your brain will have to work harder to sound out every word. This is important because when you read in your head you’re more likely to skip over words and readings, which won’t help your comprehension. Tip 3: Time yourself when you read an article – Make … Read More…

Japanese Asadora Bite Size Drama

Drama are great ways to practice Japanese. They are made by Japanese people for Japanese people telling Japanese stories. Often it’s hard to pick a good drama to watch if you don’t know drama very well. Which is why I think asadora are some of the best dramas for practising Japanese. Japanese asadora bite size drama, they’re only 15 minute long episodes, are easy and simple to watch, and are great for advanced and intermediate practice. These are not for beginners. Because of the conversational Japanese, thick accents and often historic phrases used, Japanese asadora are normally best for intermediate and … Read More…

Review of NILS Language School Fukuoka

In 2013 I spent 6 months in Fukuoka studying at a private school called NILS. They provide lessons from 1 month to 2 years for a variety of levels at a reasonable price. I’ve had a few people ask me about them and they want me to write a recommendation for their site so I figured why not kill two birds with one stone? Overview of the school NILS is based in Fukuoka. It has 2 campuses, one outside of Fukuoka (but not far away) for long term students who are there on the 1-2 year courses. Shorter term classes are … Read More…

Soft Power and Translating Manga

Translating Manga

  The head of the Theory and Practice of Translation program for my MA was an elderly Chinese man who often made snide remarks about how translating manga wasn’t a “real” form of translation. A view I worry is often shared among professional translators. When the topic of manga comes up many people think of kids people, and never consider the adults that enjoy reading and working with manga translation. They often don’t consider the culture behind each page, the hard work that goes into translating it, or the implications manga can have on society’s perspective of Japan. They don’t … Read More…

Japan’s Lucky Poop – Dajare Puns and Culture

This week I wanted to look at Japan’s fascination with dajare (ダジャレ) or “wordplay/puns” and how their love for them has permeated itself into Japanese customs and media. (I’ve talked about Japanese humour before in Japanese Jokes for English Speakers.)   Japan’s Lucky Poop Dajare One of Japan’s most weird and iconic custom is poo. There is a weird obsession with it to the point where you can buy cute faced poop keychains, and golden poop statues at shrines. So why the poop? In Japanese poop can either be “unko” (うんこ) or “unchi” (うんち), however, “un” (うん) also means luck or … Read More…

JET Teaching in Japan

Many people interested in Japan are interested in moving there. Quite often that means an interest in teaching English in Japan either through JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) or another program. If you want to get a foot in the door to work in Japan, or to get better at Japanese I strongly suggest applying to JET or another teaching program in Japan. You don’t need any Japanese language experience or qualification either. I’ve asked a few current teachers for advice on their teaching programs, working in Japan, and advice for people interested in teaching in Japan. 1) Why did … Read More…

Birthdays in Japan

Birthdays in Japan

It was Japanese Talk Onlines 2nd Birthday this week (4th October to be exact)!!! 誕生日おめでとう!!! To celebrate we’re going to talk about how people celebrate their birthdays in Japan as they’re very difference compared to the West. The idea of celebrating the anniversary of one’s birth with a party, cake, family and friends, in the way that we understand it, is a very Western idea. You may have noticed watching J-drama or anime, that when a person celebrates their birthday Happy Birthday is sung. This might not seem that strange but when you think about it, this is a VERY … Read More…

Japanese Weather Reports

Japanese Weather

This post covers Japanese weather reports, providing you with a vocabulary list of weather and verbs to practice. If you watch the news in Japan then the weather report will be shown, and although you can guess what’s being said based on what’s being shown it helps a lot to understand it. This post does cover very basic weather vocabulary which might be had with average Japanese people, but it focuses more on intermediate and advanced vocabulary and sentences used in Japanese weather reports. In How to Read Japanese Newspapers we covered what to expect from newspaper articles but also useful tools like Rikai-chan … Read More…